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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

Health care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

OIG Updates Exclusion Advisory

On May 8, 2013 the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Special Advisory Bulletin that updates the scope and effect of the legal prohibition on payment by federal health care programs for items or services both furnished by an excluded person and at the medical direction of an excluded person.  The Advisory Bulletin describes how statutory amendments made since the most recent Advisory in 1999 have expanded OIG’s authority to exclude individuals and entities from federal health care programs. It also explains how exclusions may be violated as well as the administrative sanctions that the OIG can pursue. The Special Advisory Bulletin also includes recommendations about the scope and frequency of screenings. Of particular interest to home health and hospice providers is guidance about the need to screen volunteers for exclusion.

The guidance explains that payment prohibition applies to all methods of federal health care program payment, regardless of if the payment comes from itemized claims, cost reports, fee schedules, capitated payments, a prospective payment system or other bundled payment, or another payment system.  Payment prohibitions apply even if the payment is made to a state agency or to a person that is not excluded and includes items and services beyond direct patient care.  The bulletin also explains how excluded persons are prohibited from furnishing administrative and management services that are payable by the federal health care programs even though these services are not separately billable. Examples given of such services include health information technology services, strategic planning, billing and accounting, staff training, and human resources.

Civil money penalties (CMP) of $10,000 can be imposed against both the excluded individual and a health care provider that arranges or contracts with a person the provider knows - or should know - is excluded for each claimed item or service furnished.  Additionally, the person and health care provider may be subject to an assessment of up to three times the amount claimed for each item or service.

OIG explains that these penalties may be imposed even if the excluded person does not receive payments from the provider for his or her services, such as a volunteer.

OIG directs providers to its List of Excluded Individuals and Entities  (LEIE), which is maintained on the OIG Web site here to access OIG program exclusion information. Absent any regulation requiring providers to check the LEIE list, OIG recommends that providers check it prior to employing or contracting with an individual and recheck periodically, such as once a month as States have been directed to do by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In deciding which persons should be screened against the LEIE, OIG advises providers to review each job category or contractual relationship to determine whether the item or service being provided is payable by a federal health care program. When federal health care programs do not pay for any of the items or services being provided by an excluded individual, then a provider may employ or contract with an excluded person to provide these non-Federal health care program items and service.

Of great importance to home health and hospice providers is inclusion of new information about the application of exclusion prohibitions to volunteers.

The new volunteer prohibition guidance points to the need to screen not only employees and contractors but also to screen any volunteer that provides direct service as well as those that serve in an advisory capacity, such as on professional advisory committees and boards of directors. The Special Advisory Bulletin on the Effect of Exclusion from Participation in Federal Health Care Programscan be accessed here.




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